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Smoking ban causes frustration with downtown businesses

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Recently, the downtown campus of Cape Fear Community college became off limits to smokers. Now, business owners nearby say smokers looking for a safe haven are becoming a nuisance. The campus went smoke free August 1st. Area business owners said the ban has pushed students who do smoke closer and closer to their doors. Smoking on the city's sidewalks is still fair game. Folks at the Cotton Exchange, next door to campus, said that is a major problem. "It has become a nuisance to our existing tenants who have been here a long time and we are trying to work out a solution to share the sidewalks and it not be such an annoyance to our ongoing businesses here," said Cotton Exchange general manager Nancy Bullock. The college and the city have tried to help the situation by placing new cigarette butt receptacles next to trash cans. Police are also warning students about littering and breaking campus rules.

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